Once simply a fun distraction, social media now shapes our opinions and decisions in a number of different ways. Its reach into our lives is particularly pronounced in the area of fashion and style, where trends are aired, disseminated and judged in real time, giving us all the chance to follow and even participate in the process.
In this edition of The Style Project, Executive Style's panel of men's fashion experts - Matt Jensen (CEO and founder of MJ Bale), Graeme Lewsey (CEO of Melbourne Fashion Festival), Dom Bagnato (menswear designer) and Luc Wiesman (editor and founder of D'Marge.com) - discuss the impact that Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and other social media tools exert on men's sartorial decision-making. From access and education to choice and inspiration, it's a digital revolution that is empowering men with more information and knowledge than ever before.
You can feel all eyes on you. Wherever you go – people look at you and observe your sense of style.
You are the best dressed man in the room.
How does it feel? Are you conscious of the attention or do you have a clear idea why you are so well-dressed?
It takes courage to be the best dressed man in the room.
Men all over world are paying attention to their style. They are improving the way they dress, but there is still a mental block… you start to get conscious because you’re now a step ahead of the rest.
However, unlike most people who are content with the bare minimum in life – you are choosing to be excellent in your style.
As a result – you will be perceived as more intelligent, stronger and attractive. All healthy perceptions that are vital to your success in life.
I’m going to give you 5 reasons why you need to have the courage to be the best dressed man in the room.
Reason #1 – Men Who Dress Well Are Perceived As Leaders
There’s a lack of leaders in the world. I’m not referring to the general idea of heroic leaders in the military or the men who govern countries.
No, what we need more of is servant leaders in our communities and offices. Men who express their strength through service to others.
Studies have shown that people are going to immediately assign a bit more authority to you when you dress sharp. Stepping up your style will place you in the realm of men who are automatically perceived as leaders. More importantly – you will take yourself more seriously when dressed your best.
If you know how to program and code, you could have fun with a bow-tie to stand out of the jeans and t-shirt crowd in your office. Take the time to think about what you want to represent through your clothes.
Don’t just simply go along with the current fashion of super casual clothing just because you’re a tech guy.
When you own your style, the guys higher up will notice the way you dress. When it’s time for a promotion – who do you think they will consider first? The guy who represents the company in the best way possible. How you dress plays a major role in how your bosses perceive you.
Taking the time to think through why you choose your clothes gives them more meaning. Perhaps your grandfather or father wore bow ties and you are continuing their legacy.
You don’t have to dress in a business suit if you are in college (although that help in many other ways). But you should make the effort to stand out where you are. Small changes to your clothes will give you big results.
By choosing to be a leader you actually are going to be selected and see greater success in your life.
Reason #2 – Other Men Are Inspired Through Your Style
When you are the best dressed man around – other people look up to you. They will pull you aside and confess that you inspire them because you have the courage to dress well. Not because you are superficial – but because you don’t try to fit in; you stand up for who you are.
People need inspiration.
My friend John Dumas runs a successful podcast – Entrepreneur On Fire. I began to tire of the repeated motivation through his podcast until it hit me that this is exactly what people need. Inspiration.
When someone is having a bad day – be the man who makes them feel good just by being your best. Always bring your A game. It has a positive impact on people around you.
Reason #3 – Dressing Sharp Makes You The Agent Of Change
This generation of men could be the best dressed to ever live. Just take a look at the popularity of stylish men with Instagram accounts, Pinterest boards and men’s style magazines.
We have all the information and services we need at the touch of a few buttons.
When I started A Tailored Suit, 8 years ago – there were few services offering customized style for men online. To build a custom suit and have it delivered to your door was a new concept. Now – there are hundreds of companies offering these services.
I built a company offering a unique service – initiating a process of change in the industry. You can do the same thing for your company culture, for your family, for your neighborhood.
You can become that agent of change to get out there by choosing to be the best dressed man in the room. You could inspire a lasting and meaningful change through your attitude of excellence.
Reason #4 – You Will Reap The Benefits Of Being Well-Presented
When you start to dress well, people perceive you as a stronger leader. This translates into more opportunities and an increase in your income.
Studies show that well-dressed men earn about $232,000 more across their career. That’s a significant amount wherever you are in the world. The amount may vary – but the opportunities coming your way will be much higher than if you blend into the crowd.
Dressing sharp makes you look like a guy who can handle pressure and get the job done.
If you don’t dress the part – you will miss those opportunities and your progress will be slower.
Reason #5 – You Get To Be The Best Version Of Yourself
As a CEO – I would be letting myself and my team down by dressing in shorts and t-shirts.
The responsibility of leading other people in any capacity is complemented by your style sense. I see the importance in presenting my best self because my businesses are geared towards inspiring other people to live better lives.
As a father of three and as someone who sets the example for people around the world – I work at looking my best. I know that work ethic is rubbing off on people who are watching me.
You get to create and craft your image and how people perceive you. Instead of complaining about the work it takes to be a sharp dressed man – embrace the opportunity. Step up your game by crafting the image of a capable man through your stylish clothes.
Have the confidence to dress like the sharpest man in the room and don’t be embarrassed by the attention. You are a man of definite purpose – let your clothes show it. Want more?
Features a BLAZER has that a SPORTS JACKET doesn’t:
· Solid color, usually navy blue and almost always dark
· Usually a smooth or fine-surfaced weave
· Almost always made from worsted wool, hopsack, or wool flannel
· Often a contrasting button color like brass, gold, mother of pearl or silver
· Minimal detailing or decorative elements
· Single (2 button) or double breasted – I prefer only single breasted with jeans but if you have the confidence……well you do what you want.
· Peak lapels are rare in single breasted but common in double breasted jackets.
Features a SPORTS JACKET has that a BLAZER doesn’t:
· Wide range of fabric colors – blues, browns, greens, and greys are common.
· Often patterned, from checks to plaid to houndstooth.
· Can have a textured weave such as corduroy, tweed, or herringbone
· Can be made from a wide range of fibers, from smooth twills to coarse tweeds
· Frequently feature extra elements like elbow patches and ticket pockets
· Single breasted design, normally 2 or 3 buttons.
· Patch pockets or hacking pockets are common with a sports heritage
Put in even more basic terms, a blazer is a simpler & dressier garment than a sports jacket.
It’s not as “busy” to look at.
That makes a blazer and blue jeans a very minimalist style.
It’s easy to build off of, gives you the flattering shape of a jacket without the stuffiness of a suit, and can dress up or down depending on how you accessorize. The trick lies in wearing the right blazer with the right jeans.
Types of Blazers to Wear with Men’s Jeans
Not all navy blazers are created equal.
Some are meant to serve as a bare level of formality down from suits and ties (especially the double-breasted variety). These aren’t going to work with blue jeans. You should be looking for elements of a casual style:
Anything very crisply squared-off and military-looking is for business meetings and yachts. Look for something with a natural, un-padded shape.
Single-breasted, two-button construction.
Wearing jeans means wearing your jacket open at least some of the time. Double-breasted is right out (and too formal to pair with jeans anyway), and three-button styles tend to flap and billow when left unbuttoned. They’re also more likely to be mistaken for an out-of-place suit jacket.
As above, you want to avoid flapping fabric when you wear the jacket open. A close fit in the chest is particularly important, but it’s worth keeping the jacket close around the hips as well.
The narrowest part of the jacket shouldn’t come in too sharply. You’re not going for a wicked, Italian-style hourglass here. A modest little bit of narrowing above the hips is all you need.
You’re pairing the blazer with denim. A superfine wool with a lustrous sheen is going to be out of place, and so is a big, hairy tweed jacket. A simple, durable worsted is fine, as is a flannel if you prefer a more textured surface.
Avoid twill weaves if possible
A twill weave is easy to recognize by its narrow diagonal ribbing. That’s the same texture as denim jeans, and you don’t want two garments in a close but not-quite-matching texture, ever. Make sure the jacket is either a smooth-faced weave or something distinct from twill like hopsack, flannel, birdseye or nailhead.
You may also want to consider avoiding the traditional metallic buttons — or you may like the contrast in your outfit. It depends on the look you’re going for. Metal buttons are more conservative and a bit preppy; plastic or mother-of-pearl buttons that match the jacket color or complement it more subtly are a more modern and urbane look.
Types of Jeans to Wear With Men’s Blazers
Jeans and sports jackets lend themselves to natural contrasts. Jeans and blazers, on the other hand, both traditionally come in a deep blue shade. That makes finding a pair of jeans that stand out from your blazer more of an exercise in careful shopping than the sports jacket/jeans pairing.
Any pair of jeans that you’re wearing with a jacket should have a few basic “dressy” characteristics separating them from work jeans:
· Close fit in the waist/hips/crotch – no loose, sagging cloth
· No cargo pockets, gear loops, etc.
· Different color from the default “blue jeans” light blue
· Contrast-colored stitching — not required, but often a plus
· Decorative stitching
And within the realm of these “dressy” jeans you have two basic color options:
Darker than the blazer
Jeans in a really deep midnight-blue can work with a blazer that’s on the lighter end of navy (or in a different color altogether), especially if the jeans have some orange contrast stitching in them.
More unusual dark colors like gray or chocolate brown work for the jeans as well, although plain black is usually an awkward pairing for navy blue.
Lighter than the blazer
Lighter shades of blue, grays, and more fashion-forward colors like white or red denim give a good contrast. It’s one of the rare outfits where trousers lighter than the jacket is common and is a great choice when looking to dress the outfit down.
In either case your goal with the color is to avoid any pairing that’s close but not an actual match.
A perfect match (or so close that the eye can’t tell the difference) isn’t great, since it just makes you look like you’re wearing a suit with texture problems. Contrast between the blazer and the jeans is key.
What to Wear with a Blazer and Jeans
This is a deliberately dressed-down look. It pairs well with anything from a lightly-patterned dress shirt and leather shoes to a fitted T-shirt and canvas sneakers.
For a preppy look, throw on a red-striped necktie and choose a blazer with brass buttons. For something more contemporary wear a dark turtleneck or T-shirt and a blazer with matching-colored buttons. It all just comes down to the image you want.
The only things to steer clear of are any items that belong solidly to either conservative business wear or grungy street wear: T-shirts with graphic designs, athletic shoes (go at least as dressy as a colored canvas sneaker), and so on. A blazer/jeans outfit belongs to the comfortable middle ground, not to either extreme.
In Summary, it can take a little hunting to find the right blazer and the right pair of jeans. But once you find them you have an outfit that holds up in almost any social situation.
As if you needed a reason to wear jeans to work, Jeans for Genes Day is back for another year.
"Of course, wearing jeans to work these days isn't too much of a stretch," says campaign manager Barry Kenyon.
"This year we are challenging everyone to go a bit wild with their denim. Classic, acid washed, ripped, faded, stressed, double – even triple denim."
Melbourne Spring Fashion Week stylist Marc Wasiak agrees that denim is everywhere right now. "It's not just a jeans-and-t-shirt mentality anymore," he says. "You can wear jeans with a sports coat, with a shirt – you're comfortable but you're still sophisticated."
The trend agenda
If it's been a while since you updated your casual wardrobe, you need to know that slim-fit jeans are still a thing.
"Skinny fit jeans aren't going anywhere," says Bryce Alton, Australasian director of Swedish label Nudie Jeans. "People appreciate a good fit, whether it's a pair of jeans or a great suit, so there's always a place for well-fitted garments."
Alton predicts style-conscious blokes will be reaching for the scissors for a D.I.Y. customised look. "You're going to see a lot more 'cut-offs', jeans cut away at the ankles so they fray and reveal the sock or a low-rise shoe," he says.
Antony Hampson from Diesel says 'ripped and repaired' jeans and heavily treated denims are in style this season, with plenty of 'selvedge' denim around (that means denim with tidy, self-finished edges).
Jeans from Japan and Turkey are heading to the front of the queue, and we're also looking back to ultra-classic fits.
"I'm seeing that real '50s look on the streets at the moment, like the straight leg with a turned-up cuff," notes Wasiak. "It's the little details that make a big difference to the denim that you're wearing."
Jeans For Genes day encourages Aussies to wear their favourite pair on Friday, August 7, with the money raised going towards discovering treatments and cures at the Children's Medical Research Institute.